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We saw ONLY THE LONELY last night, the new John Candy movie. It was pretty good, and it was neat to see the return of Maureen O'Hara in a movie, after a twenty-year retirement.

ONLY THE LONELY is a leisurely, funny look at Danny Muldoon (Candy), an Irish cop who lives with his mother (O'Hara) in Chicago. His mother is the Irish version of Archie Bunker, a woman who spews ethnic slurs at a remarkable rate. This pair is unbelievably co-dependent---while the advertising emphasizes the mother's hold on her son, Danny also has remarkable trouble letting go.

Danny meets Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy) by accident, goes off in search of her, and asks her for a date. Theresa agrees, and the date comes off as a study in awkwardness. Both people are essentially shy, and while Danny uses constant talking to cover his shyness, Theresa is so withdrawn that even telling Danny she had had fun is very hard for her.

This film is one of John Hughes' few forays into describing the lives of working-class people, and he did a pretty good job. While the movie tries to be pretty realistic, there are a few moments of unreality in the last third of the movie. I'd probably rate it a 7 on the Chuck scale.


My main problem with the movie was Danny not showing up for his wedding. Mom had even given her blessing, yet he just couldn't do it. Danny believed in good appearances, and while he might have had an incredible anxiety attack, he would have been there!